Laughing at God is probably not the most respectful way to react when God comes with a message. Sarah thought it was quiet funny to hear that she was going to have a baby when she was already an old woman. With all the logic and reasoning she could muster, all she could do was see the humor in it and laugh. Others might have cried after waiting so long to have a child. There were probably many times in her life and during her marriage that she had felt like a failure. She had failed to provide a child, especially a son, to her faithful and fine husband Abraham.
Laughing is what we sophisticated people often do when we hear something unbelievable. It is certainly not a sign that we are taking the matter seriously. It is a lack of faith. God “straightened” Sarah out a bit when He said ““Why did Sarah laugh, saying, ‘Shall I surely bear a child, since I am old?’ Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.” (Genesis 18:13-14)
Sarah failed to realize that when logic and reasoning say God can’t, it is God that smiles and says “Oh yea, I’ll show you!” It was God who got the last laugh when Sarah at the age of ninety-one had a son.
When God makes a promise, He will fulfill it. There are no miracles too small or too great for God. We are blessed to know that God loves us and will hear our prayers. Jesus said “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7) Instead of laughing or showing our incredulity let us rediscover and strengthen our faith, knowing that God is still able and will deliver us in His time.
Federal Express DC-10-30F; N313FE, April 1990/AAG (Photo credit: Aero Icarus)
Federal express is an awesome service. They can urgent deliver, same day deliver, overnight, deliver in 2 nights, deliver in 5 days and include delivery commitment. They can deliver on a specific day and even deliver at a specific time. Imagine if God worked liked federal express. Then we could put in our orders and choose the day the time and sit back and relax. When the day and hour would come, we would have it. All the anxiety, all the waiting and wondering, and all the doubt would be gone. Unfortunately God does not work like that. He has his own delivery system, angels included. He sure is capable of handling urgent deliveries but he can even do better than same day delivery. God can do instant delivery and He is definitely committed every time. However sometimes God’s delivery date is nowhere near ours and that’s when all the trouble begins. We forget that God is not a delivery service that we can hire at 9.99 a service or 15.99 a service or at any price. We can’t tell God when, where or how. He makes the final decision. Sarah was one customer that had not read the fine print.
Sarah was 89 years old when she was hearing again that she was going to have a baby.(Genesis 17:15-18, Genesis 21:1-7) First problem was her age and the second problem was that she had never had a baby. When God makes a promise sometimes it’s hard to believe or accept. Other times we get so anxious we want to see those promises delivered over night or even the same day. Unfortunately God is not federal express. He is not about to rush an order just to make us happy.Sarah decided to rush things and gave God some help. She presented Hagar her servant as a surrogate mother. (Genesis 16:1-2) Fast forward some years and we find Sarah insecure and jealous. Regrettably Sarah makes the harsh decision to send her away with her son and little else. God in his mercy provides for them.(Genesis 21:8-21) But what of the devastation of being cast out from your home, and Ishmael forever separated from his father, because Sarah decided to help God.
Even when we know God has something for us we have to seek His guidance and wait for His direction. God will surely show us when and how to take action. In Sarah’s case God only required that she wait. If we don’t want to wait we can still use Federal Express, but last time I checked miracles were not on their list of services.
Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him. Genesis 21:5
The holiday season will be sneaking up on us and Christmas shopping has already begun. The smartest among us have already bought plenty of gifts and most of it on-line. Unfortunately, no matter how hard we try some of us always land up buying some gifts late. But the worst is when we have to go in person to that local department store having that super sale at the last minute. Then we’re face to face with the longest lines we could possible imagine. Patience then is not only a virtue but a necessity. We have no other choice.
Waiting on God often feels the same way. Especially if you have an aggressive nature like myself. Abraham had to wait a whole lot longer than me and managed to keep his faith. He was called out from his comfortable home and taken on a journey that would take him over all of the Middle East, including Egypt, on the promise of being the father of many nations and inheriting the Promised Land.
The problem is that Abraham didn’t even have a son. He patiently waited until the ripe old age of 100, to finally receive the promised son through his wife Sarah. He did this while faithfully following God’s directions, worshiping Him and sincerely trying his best to live a righteousness life. There were wars, family conflicts, various trials and a whole lot of waiting. However Abraham received all that God had promised.
We too must often wait on God’s promises. He is faithful and his reward will be finer than the super sale at the local department store.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; Proverbs 3:5
There I was speeding through the Bronx on an elevated train way above the ground. Children were playing and having a great time. Mothers seemed relaxed and contented. The driver of the train was nowhere in sight. But I was happy as can be and without a care in the world. I figured I was 100% safe. No reason to be concerned with who might be driving the train, his or her physical condition or capabilities; I was not worried about the condition of the train or the old tracks. What could go wrong? I trusted the construction of a system whose parts in some cases dated back to the 1800’s and an anonymous driver. As a species we are actually more trusting than what we think. We trust our waiters, our cooks, our babysitters, and our doctors. However when it comes to God how often does our trust fail?
Why do we doubt God even if we have experienced his power first hand? The Israelites had experienced the power of God who liberated them from Egypt with a mighty hand. But when they came face to face with the giants in Canaan they could not believe that God would provide a victory. Sarah had experienced the protection and guidance of God but upon being told that she would have a child, also did not believe and only laughed. I have also doubted God and yet I have personally experienced God’s blessing and care. Why do we spend so much time doubting?
Perhaps part of the doubt comes from our own feelings of inadequacies. The Israelites felt small next to those Giants and Sarah was sure she was too old. Often in finding our faith we must come to grips with the reality that when we cannot continue the fight, our God can. That when the problem is too great He can solve it and when it is impossible for us it is still possible for Him. The giants were thoroughly defeated, and Sarah would rejoice to see her baby born.
Everyday God is acting in our lives in miraculous ways. Let us trust Him. He is more reliable than the NYC subway system and has been around a whole lot longer. He is not anonymous and hears you when you call. He arrives on time and will definitely take us where we need to go.